The Ghost Brigades – John Scalzi

Now its time to learn to fight like Special Forces…

The Ghost Brigades is the next part of the Old Man’s War series. But it feels different, the universe and the characters have moved on and the universe is a more complex place. I love how the “world”-building is so gradual here, smoothly adding depth and complexity at a manageable pace.

But the story is distinct here, not just a continuation of more of the same, but taking the end point and running off with it in a different direction. The writing is strong, and there are links there to bring it back to Old Man’s War, but it stands on its own. There is of course (given the setting) more soldiers and war, but also plotting, intrigue, Science! and politics.

The moral twist in this is then just perfect, although difficult to give more details without serious spoilers!

 

Old Man’s War – John Scalzi

“The colonies are saving their best technology for the military… I think you’re right, Harry. We have no idea what we’ve gotten ourselves into”

This is Scalzi’s first published novel, but is a strong opening to this series. I want to hear more about this setting and how characters develop, so will be picking up the rest in some form or other.

Old Mans War

The premise is interesting as a starting point, people are given the opportunity to become young again through joining the Colonial Defence Force (aka, off-planet army). Scalzi then, as always, handles the emotional and social considerations of this as well as he does the practical side.

Then we have some planetary wars, making friends and all the other fun stuff one could hope for.

I quite like the later plot development as well, although it does stretch suspension of disbelief a bit too far! There are only so many incredibly unlikely things that can happen to one character, even in a novel.